Last week, I joined the ranks of new iPad owners. Yes, I’m a little late to the game, but you do what you have to! The device is all it is made out to be; it is a beautiful piece of gear. The first thing that crossed my mind when I pulled it out of the box was how to protect this beauty. I was not completely interested in a large case to carry the iPad by itself. Since I have a gear backpack, I thought it would be best if I just had some sort of sleeve to hold it while it was hidden away in the little document slot in my bag. The iLuv 9.7″ Neoprene Sleeve for iPad seemed to be just what I was looking for. ?
The iLuv Neoprene Sleeve is a simple product. A neoprene sleeve that zips shut at the top and two small pockets on the side. The neoprene material is thick enough to protect the iPad from minor bumps and bounces. It is also water-resistant which can help from an accidental spill or a run through the rain. I would not use the sleeve to protect against drops or to carry without another method, but it does work well if you carry the iPad in another bag.
The inside of the sleeve is nice and soft and will make you feel comfortable while sliding the iPad in and out. To hold the iPad snugly inside, a small strap of neoprene stretches around the end toward the zipper. This is a nice touch, since it will protect you from accidentally opening the sleeve and having the iPad fall out. The strap holds the device well enough that technically the zipper could be open while carrying, and your iPad would stay put — I do not recommend this practice though!
The two pockets are made of the same stretchy neoprene material as the rest of the sleeve. No zippers or buttons are needed, since these slash pockets are tight enough that they need to be stretched to open. One of the stock photos on the iLuv site show a mouse in the sleeve; while it is true that a mouse could fit into the pocket, I’m not sure why you would need to carry one with an iPad. All I am carrying is a pair of headphones in the pockets.
One thing I do not like about the sleeve is the fit. The strap on the top holds the iPad snugly and will prevent it from falling out, but the rest of the case does not fit well; it’s too large. It almost feels like the sleeve is made for another product but adjusted to hold the iPad. I even gave the sleeve to my wife with the iPad inside and asked her what she thought; she said she liked the material, but did not like how it was so loose on the iPad. When I think neoprene, I think snug, tight fit.
The iLuv 9.7″ Neoprene Sleeve for iPad is available in eight colors on the iLuv website for $24.99. I am using the black sleeve, and it is available for as low as $9.17 + shipping on Amazon. For that price you really can’t go wrong with this product; if you are looking for a cheap and easy way to protect your iPad when carrying in a larger gear bag, the iLuv sleeve is a good option.
MSRP: $24.99 (shop around for lower prices).
What I like: Small and stylish method of protecting the iPad while I tuck it away in my gear bag.
What needs improvement: The sleeve would be much nicer if it had a snug fit; I do not like the extra loose material.